Acclaimed photo duo and Hasselblad Ambassadors Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer don’t just take pictures.
They tell stories.
Now Hasselblad ambassadors Cooper & Gorfer, who live in Gothenburg and Berlin, continue their mission to hunt down the intriguing connection between people, story and place and express their discoveries through painterly aesthetics and poetic hybrid collages.
Aana With String of Pearls © Cooper & Gorfer | Photographed on Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format
Their latest work includes ‘Interruptions’, a highly persuasive visual narrative, embracing a remarkable collaboration with Sámi women who live in the northernmost region of Sweden and across Norway and Finland to the Kola Peninsula.Leila in the Reindeer Dress © Cooper & Gorfer | Photographed on Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format
Searching for ‘truth’ the team explore personal histories and broken timelines of women whose lives have been interrupted in one way or another: a young girl’s fight against cancer; a mother’s custody dispute over her small daughter; memories of discrimination from an elderly Sámi woman.Maxida With Green Strings © Cooper & Gorfer | Photographed on Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format
The portrait assignment, executed during the freeze of winter, led to Sarah and Nina interviewing, staging and visualising their subjects’ stories and circumstances – but then, rather than depicting their findings objectively, they transformed their impressions into sets of picturesque hybrid images, ‘to illustrate the reflections and statements we got from the interviews.’ Aanas Forest © Cooper & Gorfer
Notes Sarah: “Layer upon layer of symbolism and narrative blur realism in the photographs. The images are at times broken into parts and subsequently rearranged into an enigmatic, fragmented and exaggerated ensemble. Observable reality is strained through a complex psychological filter of dreams, moods, fears and wounds.”
Eugenia with Woven Belt © Cooper & Gorfer | Photographed on Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format
Nina adds: “Many of the portraits were photographed behind a sheet of glass, thus introducing a physical and permanent later of disruption and interference. This layer remains dormant, mostly invisible, but then suddenly reveals itself, hiding or shielding parts of the women portrayed.”Mimie Behind the Empty Frame © Cooper & Gorfer | Photographed on Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format
The duo will also premier a brand new body of work, ‘I Know Not These My Hands’ and a selection of work including ‘Interruptions’, at a solo show to be debuted at Fotografiska, the centre for contemporary photography in Stockholm, on March 11, 2017. Katarina in Blue © Cooper & Gorfer | Photographed on Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format
Cooper & Gorfer have worked together for a decade and their images have been shown in several solo exhibitions, i.e. at Hasselblad Center Gothenburg, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt, CODA Museum of Contemporary Art Apeldoorn, The National Museum of Photography Copenhagen, and at The DDC, 798 Art District, Beijing. They have published four books: SEEK Volume 01, Iceland, My Quiet of Gold, The Weather Diaries (All Gestalten Verlag), and Interruptions (distribution through Thames & Hudson).